Chronic Illness Report: No-Shave-November or Movember?

It is that time of the year where millions of people around the globe put down the razor for the month of No-shave-November to promote men’s health causes. Many people may realize it as just another trend, but the truth is a bit more complicated. Similar to the Movember movement, they both have their roots in raising awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and  mental health issues.

Founded in 2003, the Movember Foundation went from just thirty “Mo Bros” to more than five million men and women who participate in this annually. Their goal is to address some of the biggest health issues faced by men. Including, but not limited to,  prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. They take pride in the fact that they’re completely independent of any form of government funding, so they can “challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works”. In just thirteen years, they have contributed more than $710 million to around 1,200 men’s health projects in dozens of countries around the globe. Their goal is to decrease the number of men dying prematurely by up to twenty-five percent by the year 2030.

They are encouraging men to grow out their mustache, as well as providing other means on involvement. Considering the majority of women (as well as some men) couldn’t grow a mustache if they wanted to, you could also get involved with the Move for Movember campaign by challenging yourself to exercise more often, if you already don’t. There are also various ways to donate to the cause. For more information about how you can get involved, visit their website.

The No-Shave-November campaign was founded by the Hill family out of Chicago as a way to honor Matthew Hill, who died in 2007 from colon cancer.  The same basic concept of raising cancer awareness is the same, but the approach is slightly different. The theme is to embrace your facial and/or body hair due to the fact that many cancer patients involuntarily lose theirs as a result of treatment. They encourage that you donate the money this month that you would normally spend on razors and grooming to “educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle”.

Those who wish not to participate by physically not shaving are still encouraged to donate to and spread the word about the cause. According to their website, they partner with organizations such as The American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Prevent Cancer Foundation, and Fight Colorectal Cancer, and have raised more than $1 million by nearly 30,000 people this year alone.

Both the Movember and No-Shave-November charities are nonprofit organizations. Each of them have raised millions of dollars to put towards funding for research into men’s health issues. It should go without saying that there is far more to this than just a trend. Even if you’re not participating in rocking the hair, and if you cannot afford to donate to the cause, spreading the word about the true meaning behind this movement can make a difference in people’s lives. 

Joshua D. Speer

I'm an undergraduate student living in Denver, CO. I am currently working on my prerequisites at Front Range Community College--where I'm a staff writer for the Front Page (campus newspaper) and chapter president of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). I intend to transfer into a four-year Bioengineering program, sub-specialty of Neuroengineering. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @JoshuaDSpeer.

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